As the fourth phase of voter registration exercise gradually winds down, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC says 296,965 remain uncollected by their owners across Ondo state.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner, Ambassador Rufus Akeju who stated this during a press briefing in Akure, Ondo state however said 123,981 eligible voters have registered under the current exercise which commenced in April, this year.

Ambassador Akeju said the voter registration would end on the 30th of June, 2022 and appealed to eligible voters yet to register to do so in order to participate in the 2023 elections.

The REC however warned against double registration as the commission planned to run a nationwide Automatic Biometric Identification System (ABIS) on all registrations after the exercise and those found guilty would be fished out, their names expunged from the voters register and be prosecuted.

Ambassador Akeju hinted that the electoral act considered double registration as a criminal offence which attracts 12months or a fine of ₦500,000 or both.

 

READ THE FULL TEXT OF THE REC’S ADDRESS BELOW

 

 

INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION ONDO STATE

 

THE PRESS BRIEFING BY THE HON. RESIDENT ELECTORAL COMMISSIONER, AMBASSADOR (DR) RUFUS OLORUNTOYIN  AKEJU ON THE  1ST  OF JUNE,  2022 AT THE CONFERENCE ROOM, INEC OFFICE, ALAGBAKA, AKURE

 

 

 

Gentlemen of the press,

 

I welcome you to this briefing.

 

The purpose of this press briefing is to give an update on the on-going Continuous Voters Registration exercise (CVR) which the Commission commenced on 28th June, 2021.

 

The online pre-registration has ended on the 30th of May, 2022, while the Registration exercise itself will come to an end on 30th June 2022.

 

We still enjoin eligible Nigerians who are 18years and above and who have not registered before to come out en mass and register since there will be no shift in the closing date.

 

The CVR exercise also provide opportunities for transfer of voters card, replacement of loss and defaced permanent voters card and update of voters details. While encouraging registrants to come for the exercise, we want to sound a note of warning that registering more than once is a criminal offence under the law punishable by prison term of not more than 12 months or a fine of ₦500,000 or both. Section 12 subsections 2 and 3 of the Electoral act.

 

At the end of the CVR exercise a nation-wide Automatic Biometric Identification System (ABIS) will be ran on all registrations and those who register more than once will be fished out, their names expunged from the voters register and be prosecuted.

 

The CVR exercise is now in its fourth phase which commenced on the 11th of April and will end on the 30th of June, 2022.

 

As at May, 30th 2022, the registration figure stands at 123,981.

 

A total of 21,749 Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) were received by the State for the 1st and 2nd phases of the CVR Exercise and are currently being distributed at our various Local Government Area Offices. Those who registered during these phases are to avail themselves of this opportunity to collect their PVCs.

 

However, 296,965 previously printed PVCs uncollected are still available for collection by the rightful owners at the various Local Government INEC Offices.

 

On Political parties, all the Political Parties are presently conducting party primaries to elect candidates into various offices.

 

Meanwhile, the Hon. Chairman has met with the political parties on Friday 27th May, 2022.

 

At the meeting, the Political Parties requested the Commission to review the timelines for Political Parties Primaries provided in the time-table and scheduled of activities for the conduct of 2023 general elections released in February, 2022.

 

Though the parties asked for 37-60 days extension of the timeline for primaries and the nomination of candidates, the Commission was emphatic that the request will not be granted because it will disrupt other scheduled activities on the Timetable.

 

The Political Parties Leadership therefore pleaded for a 6-days period between 4th to 9th June, 2022 to conclude outstanding primaries and prepare to upload the list of candidates and their affidavits on the INEC candidates Nomination Portal since the Commission did not schedule any specific activity during this period. This idea is to simply give Parties time to compile the list and personal particulars of their nominated candidates before uploading same to the INEC candidates Nomination Portal from 10th-17th June 2022.

 

Thus the commission has decided to allow the request of the political parties since the six days period does not conflict with the next schedule of activity which is the submission of the list of nominated candidates or any of the subsequent timeline which remain sacrosanct.

 

However, this request is granted in respect of outstanding primaries only without prejudice to those already concluded by Political Parties.

 

On gender quality and the electoral process, our staffs have being going on several workshops, and seminars on this issue. These workshops/training and capacity building workshops is being organized by the Commission in collaboration with our development partners such as IFES, UNDP, IRI and some Gender/PWDs based civil society organizations.

 

An implementation planning workshop/data disaggregation training for gender desk officers was organized in May, 24th -26th 2022 at Ikeja Lagos to review the last INEC Gender Policy (IGP) in view of adopting a more robust IGP. This is to give women more participation in the 2023 general elections.

 

Also, in view of engaging the youth to take active interest in political process, the commission in collaboration with Yiaga Africa organized a 2-days laboratory training on the 27th – 28th May, 2022.

 

This particular training workshop was organized to look into sensitizing the youths in our society to take active participation in the electoral process especially the 2023 general election.

 

The Commission has also embarked on series of steps to include more of the people with disabilities (PWD) in the electoral process. That is:

 

·      Build their skills on issues around people with disabilities (PWDs) inclusion in the electoral process.

 

·      Strengthen their capacity on effective mainstream of PWDs and other disadvantaged groups in the electioneering process.

 

·      Have quality deliberation on recent innovations introduced by the commission for PWDs inclusion

 

·      Be more knowledgeable about sensitive tools that can be used by PWDs in exercising their civil responsibilities.

 

·      Interrogate issues on why efforts by the Commission on the disability inclusion in the electoral process in yet to yield expected result.

 

 

 

In Conclusion, we want to appreciate all the citizens of Ondo State for their cooperation which the Commission has been enjoying for many years. And as we prepare for the 2023 General election and other subsequent electoral activities we hope that we will continue to enjoy the cooperation of the great people of Ondo State.

 

Thanks for coming.

 

 

 

Ambassador (Dr) Rufus Oloruntoyin Akeju,

 

Hon. Resident Electoral Commissioner,

 

INEC, Ondo State.

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